Letter from the Director
How time flies, for we are already in the last quarter of the year ! If you are expecting things to slow down, hah – you’ll be surprised that this is the busiest time of the year!
Teachers are busy assessing and making recommendations for students in terms of movement into levels in 2019. Parent-teacher meetings are taking place as well ( read on for more details) and if you can’t meet the teacher, arrangements can be made for the teacher to speak over the phone.
The Dec holiday course is back again, so do sign up to enjoy the early bird discount plus an additional gift.
As always, we welcome all feedback and a recent piece was on the noise level of adults chatting in the reception area. It was suggested that parents should not be allowed to wait in the centre. It is a valid suggestion but we want parents to feel welcome in the centre as well. As such, we are going to start by seeking everyone’s cooperation to keep conversations to a minimum and that we constantly remind each other as well.
I’ll be back in January 2019 with my next message and till then, enjoy the rest of 2018!
Meet our new teacher!
Hello! I’m Valentina. I’ve only been in Penang for a few months, but I absolutely love it! I have a Delta, a Celta and a Young Learner extension to Celta and have over 8 years teaching experience. Before moving to Penang, I was a teacher at the British Council in Myanmar for 5 years. I also taught English in Brazil and in Tanzania. I like teaching in a way that motivates my students and I always try to think of fun, creative activities to keep them engaged. In my free time, I often go hiking up Penang Hill or in the National Park. I also love going to the beach and looking out for sea otters. I’m also a passionate traveller, and I’m really looking forward to exploring this beautiful country.
Meet our new teacher!
Hi, my name is Aphrodite. I come from Greece and I have been a teacher for 14 years. I used to live in Manchester but I don’t like football! Before coming to Penang, I worked for the British Council in Myanmar. I moved here because I love nature and the sea. I am a keen cyclist and I look forward to exploring Malaysia on my bike. One of my favourite things about my job is learning about new cultures from my students.
Introducing our Green Champion!
Karen has been appointed our Green Champion in a move towards creating a ‘greener’ approach to the way we operate. Over the next few weeks, you’ll see some of Karen’s initiatives around the Teaching Centre to promote environmentally friendly actions as well as encourage healthy eating. The first two initiatives will be:
- Adding fruit to the products sold during break times.
- Leaving a basket of pencils in the front office for students who have forgotten theirs or if they have found one. On average, teachers find 3-4 pencils left behind after a lesson. That could be up to 12 a day per teacher! We hope to reuse these pencils to minimise waste and to encourage our students to take care of their possessions.
This term, we say goodbye to Michael Lee, our Academic coordinator, who will be joining British Council Hong Kong. Michael has been a great support and a valued member of staff since he joined British Council Penang over 4 years ago and we wish him all the best in his new job.
Global Art competition
A huge thank you to all those who submitted entries for our annual Art competition. Our global winners will be announced in the coming weeks and winners and runner ups from our centre are:
Cherish (PP 5)
Cherlyn (PP 2)
Kai Chuen (UP Adv)
Soon Xin Yi (LS 2)
Ning Hui (PP 2)
Kai Yuan (PP 5)
We have also just received news that Cherish has been selected as the global runner-up for her age group! This means that from all of the children around the world, Cherish’s work was chosen as the runner-up! A huge congratulations to Cherish and we hope to have her work on display when it’s returned to us from London.
Term 4 competition
We are doing something different! Our theme this term is all about healthy meals and healthy eating. We would like students to produce a video describing and/or giving the recipe and instructions for a healthy meal and the teachers will soon be supporting students with this. It doesn’t have to be anything too fancy! Some ideas are:
- Show a picture of the meal and describe it
- Create your own dish and describe it, show us how to make it
- Use a real dish and describe it/show us how to make it
The videos should be between 30 seconds-5 minutes long and are open to all of our students, regardless of age!
We will release more information about the criteria in the coming weeks, as well as ways to upload the videos. If your child is interested in participating, you will need to sign a Child Protection form before we accept any videos.
Parent teacher meetings
It’s that time of the year when we invite you to come to the centre and discuss your child’s progress.
We’d like to remind you of the following course information:
Primary Plus: These courses run over 4 terms (1 year) and students must complete 4 before they are able to move up a level. In cases where a child has exceeded our expectations, they may be moved to a higher level before completing the 4 terms. Conversely, if a child has not been able to meet the requirements of the course, they will be required to repeat part of the course.
Upper Primary and Secondary: These courses are technically two years long (8 terms) and students may be allowed to move up a level, if they have exceeded expectations or if they are old enough to join the next age group. It is common for a child to stay in the same level for 2 years and they will not be repeating material.
The teachers are busy recommending levels for students in 2019 and you will be contacted before re-registration if your child’s level has been changed. For students who will progress to the next level, parent-teacher meetings will be held after re-registration. These will be held over two weeks, and you will be asked to sign up for a 5 minute slot with the teacher a few weeks before the meetings are to be held. The tentative dates for the meetings are:
Students who have been recommended to repeat a part of the level: 20th/21st of October
Students who will progress to their next level: 10th/11th of November and 17th/18th November
Students who will stay in the same level because they have not completed 8 terms will also be contacted for the November meetings.
If you are not asked to attend a meeting in October, you can register your child as usual.
How can you support your child?
There are many ways you can support your child in their language learning journey. Check out the tips we have for you to take home. You can find these near the computers in the front office.
What is our Child Protection Policy?
A child is defined in the British Council as anyone who has not reached their 18th birthday
(UNCRC 1989) irrespective of the age of majority in the country where a child is, or their home country.
The British Council is committed to:
- valuing, respecting and listening to children
- ensuring all necessary checks are made when recruiting staff
- maintaining strong child protection systems and procedures for staff
- training its staff and providing a common understanding of child protection issues to inform planning and practice
- sharing information about child protection and good practice
- maintaining open communication between staff and parents
- providing effective management for staff through clear processes, supervision, and support.
We believe that Child Protection is everyone’s responsibility and we work very hard to ensure that all children feel safe, valued and included.